Advanced Technology Education Center expands WSU presence in Macomb County

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Dec, 5 2013

ATEC groundbreaking

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Wayne State University and Macomb County feted their 30-year partnership as construction commenced on the WSU Advanced Technology Education Center (ATEC), a 40,000-square-foot facility in Warren, Mich., that will offer students in Macomb County and surrounding areas opportunities to earn four-year degrees in high-demand fields.

At a ceremonial groundbreaking on the 3.5-acre site, located at 14601 East 12 Mile Rd., representatives of Wayne State, Macomb Community College (MCC), Macomb County, and the City of Warren described ATEC as a boon for higher education and for business in the region, saying it will produce highly trained professionals to meet existing employer demand while enticing new employers to the area. The City of Warren, for example, is experiencing significant job growth thanks to General Motors, Chrysler, Oshkosh, Walmart, Menards, and other companies, noted Mayor James Fouts, saying the presence of a university in the city will bolster that trend.

Ideally located to serve the needs of Macomb residents, the ATEC will begin offering more than 25 undergraduate and graduate degrees in mechanical and industrial engineering, computer science, business, instructional technology, global supply chain management, advanced manufacturing, and other rapid-growth fields in Fall 2014. The Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)-certified facility will house state-of-the-art laboratories and advanced classroom settings, and is designed to incorporate new technologies as they emerge in future years.

Ahmad Ezzeddine, Wayne State’s associate vice president for educational outreach and international programs who led the university’s efforts on the new center, called ATEC a testament to teamwork.

"The relationship between Wayne State University and Macomb County is one of the university’s most important and enduring," Ezzeddine said. "Wayne State was one of the first universities to bring four-year degrees to the county, and we are continually working with the county – and with Macomb Community College in particular – to give residents the greatest number of degree options with the greatest convenience."

Wayne State’s relationship with Macomb County started in 1973, when it began offering courses at Rodgers Junior High School in St. Clair Shores. The university’s Macomb-based course offerings increased over the decades and mushroomed in the 1990s, when Wayne State began offering courses at Macomb Community College’s first-in-the-nation University Center, a Clinton Township-based campus where nearly a dozen public and private universities today offer courses to thousands of area students. Wayne State further expanded its presence in Macomb County in 2010 by establishing its proprietary Wayne State Macomb Education Center, also in Clinton Township.

ATEC constitutes Wayne State’s third major campus in Macomb County, and Wayne State officials at the groundbreaking pledged to seek continual input from the community to ensure degree programming reflects the area’s educational and employment needs. Already on tap is an electric vehicle technologies center of excellence, where WSU and MCC faculty will engage in research, development and delivery of electric and automotive battery technologies.

Ezzeddine and Fouts were joined at the July 24 groundbreaking ceremony by speakers Phyllis Vroom, WSU deputy president; Gary S. Pollard, vice chair of the WSU Board of Governors; Jim Jacobs, president of Macomb Community College; Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel; and Adham Aljahmi, president of the WSU Student Senate.